I haven’t been single since I was a teenager. Seriously single anyway. I’ve never experienced living on my own, or dating as an adult and all of the ups and downs that come with being single. While some of my single girlfriends may envy me I often look at them with the same envy. Not because I crave to be single or am unhappy in my relationship but because as an adult I understand the importance of getting to know myself outside of my relationship. Though many women especially in their late twenties to thirties may feel like time is running out in their endless search for a partner, it’s important to not rush and make just any man your mate in hopes of making it to the alter before your younger sister, best friend or stranger on the street! Some of you may be asking why and the answer is very simple. You have the rest of your life to be married. You have years upon years to make memories, build a beautiful family and grow gracefully with the man of your dreams. In the grand scheme of things, if you plan on being married to one man for the rest of your life, your time being single will be much shorter than your time being married. Here are 7 reasons why you should enjoy your time being single.
1. You can be selfish
Seriously, is there really any better feeling than spoiling yourself rotten and not having a man look at you like you are crazy when he sees you bringing yet another pair of shoes home? Being single means not having to answer to anyone, not having to explain yourself, not having to worry about anyone other than yourself and your personal needs. Being selfish is not always a bad thing. Trust me you will encounter plenty of times when you are selfless in a relationship, and marriage for you to spend some time being selfish while you are single. Buy that bag, put money up towards your future, invest in your education, take yourself to that expensive restaurant your ex never took you to! Date yourself. Again, you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.
2. Get to know yourself
I can recall countless habits I took on from exes. It got to the point where I didn’t even know what type of juice I liked because I was always drinking someone else’s coo-laid. Literally, being single allows you the time to truly get to know you. You realize what you like and don’t like. You are able to heal from past relationships and recognize behaviors in yourself that can be detrimental. When you take the time to really look in the mirror and get to know yourself you are not only making yourself a better partner for the future but a person in general. When you are open to discovering what truly makes you, you also are opening yourself up to receiving feedback from friends and family that can truly help you grow. Being single allows you the time to get to know what makes you tick without having to worry about getting to know another person and taking on aspects of their personality.
3. You can date
Who doesn’t love a good date? Bad dates can be fun too because you at least get a great story out of it to tell your girlfriends over cocktails. Dating allows you to test out potential partners and see what you really like and don’t like. You get to meet new people, network and just have a good time. When you take the pressure out of dating and don’t expect to meet a husband on the first date you go on, it actually can be quite enjoyable. It’s important to realize either you will have a connection or you won’t. There is no need to force it or try to make the guy see how great of a catch you are, simply go out, have a good time and go home. No pressure.
4. You are slimmer
Most women almost inevitably put on a few or..ahem…a little more than a few extra pounds when in a relationship. You get comfortable, date nights become movie nights. Pizza and Chinese food become staples in your diet, and you get requests for fried chicken and macaroni and cheese on the regular. One great benefit of being single is you aren’t cooking for a man, meaning you are probably eating less and quite possibly spending a little more time at the gym or being active than you are cuddled up at home. Enjoy this time girl! It’s only a matter of time before the relationship weight, marriage weight, baby weight and slow metabolism are all knocking at your door!
5. You are able to focus on your career
I remember after high school I had a small retail job, nothing major at all. However whenever my ex and I got into any confrontation it made it so difficult for me to put my all into my work, sometimes I even found it difficult to work at all when we were having problems. Though emotionally i’ve matured a lot since then, it can be difficult focusing on one thing such as work, when you are having problems in your relationship. Whether you are a starlet on the rise, a young professional, or student, when you are single you have nothing but time to focus on advancing. Many times in relationships us women have a way of putting our partners needs before our own even when they don’t ask us to. We focus on making sure all of their needs are met before our own. It’s important to take the time to discover not only what makes us happy but what we want to do as a career. When you are single you are able to focus on what exactly it is that that needs to be done to advance to the next step. You can put your energy into your work without having to worry about your relationship suffering or whether or not you are giving your partner enough attention. Sure you can have a career as well as a relationship but when you are single it makes it that much easier to not be distracted from your goals.
6. Limitless time with gal pals
If it were a perfect world we would live close to our girlfriends, days would be spent sipping mimosas by the pool, shopping and exploring, while nights would be dedicated to dancing and making memories we would never forget. Unfortunately, relationships, marriage, children, career opportunities and moves can separate us from the women we thought we couldn’t go a day without talking to. Being in a relationship means a little less time will be spent with even the best of our girlfriends and with marriage and children comes even more time apart. Being single is the absolute best time to spend as much time with your girlfriends as possible. Of course true friendships stand the tests of time, marriage and children but nothing is like having tons of free time to spend with the women who mean the most to you.
7.No one’s leaving the toilet seat up
I mean that both literally and figuratively. You aren’t cleaning up after anyone’s messes besides your own. You aren’t stressing out over anyone else, you have all the time in the world to merely enjoy life! You are the queen of your singledom. You control who comes and goes in your life. You don’t have to put up with anything you don’t want to. There is no sacrifice, there is no meeting halfway, no compromise. The possibilities are endless. No need to mope around about the guy who didn’t call back after a date, go get a manicure, catch up on a good book, go for a jog and allow yourself the time to enjoy your life. You will meet someone when the time is right. Go on as many or as few dates as you please. Take the time to truly enjoy being alone, there is plenty of time for a relationship later. Remember, you aren’t able to really have a fulfilling relationship until you yourself are both fulfilled and happy.
Are you taking the time to enjoy being single?
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram also check out her website.